One of my author friends from Go Teen Writers, Giselle Abreu, asked me to answer some questions about self-publishing for her school research paper. I was happy to oblige and am posting my interview here.
1. What made you want to self-publish?
I wanted complete control over my book’s creative process: editing, formatting, cover design, etc.
2. What was the process of self-publishing like?
Very long. I think that was due to some unforeseen complications to my original timeline (I was editing up until the very last minute, even after getting a cover design and needed to reformat each time).
My fellow teen author, Emily Rachelle, is hosting a blog party through December 12-January 15. A bunch of our author friends are contributing, and I agreed to do an interview. She posted it on her blog, but I'm also going to have it below.
Tell us a little about yourself first.
My name is Zara Hoffman. I’m sixteen going on seventeen, a junior in high school, and self-published by debut novel on November 13, 2013. It’s a fantasy romance novel, and the first in The Belgrave Legacy Trilogy.
The Belgrave Daughter Blog Tour kicks off at The LUV'NV. I'm so excited! You can see the schedule here (or click on the banner)!
12 Random Facts at erin albert's Blog
Interview at Mary Waibel's Blog
**Bracketed comments are Mary's commentary**
Tell us, what do you write?
I write YA bordering on NA fantasy romance. I have a NA fairytale retelling series coming up, too after THE BELGRAVE LEGACY is completed.
Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
It varies depending on the book. For THE BELGRAVE LEGACY, I'm using 3rd omniscient, but with each of the 4 fairytales I'm doing something different (but how I plan to do that is a surprise I'm not ready to reveal just yet).
How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
I start with an idea that normally comes to me in a dream, as hokey as that sounds. [Not hokey at all. I've had that happen, too!] Then I start writing a scene before I do anything else, just to get a sense of the story.
Do you draft quickly?
I completed THE BELGRAVE DAUGHTER in 7 months (4 for the first draft, the rest for editing). [Nice! That's pretty quick. Mine first took 8 years!]
Do you do research before your first draft, during?
I research as needed along the way. Normally, my stories don't require much research to begin with...
Do you outline? How?
I generally do a barebones outline to begin with after the initial free write (see my answer to #3), but sometimes I make it more detailed. It always evolves either way as I continue writing.
Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
I try and write linearly and as completely as possible. I always know edits will happen, but I still try and get a semi-polished piece in the first draft.
Do you work with CP's (Critique Partners) or Beta's Beta readers)? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I technically HAVE a beta group, but haven't sent them any of my writing because I kept changing stuff every two days. For my next book, I'm going to actually use them. [I had to learn to wait to get feedback back from my CP's before working on revisions (which really is harder than it sounds!) as I would make sweeping changes before they had a chance to read any of what I'd sent.]
What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
Writer's Digest (books, magazine, and blog), as well as Veronica Roth's blog, and the Go Teen Writers blog.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
A first draft is NOT the final one, so don't rush the writing, revising, or editing processes. It will only create more work down the road. [That's a great piece of advice!]
What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A book trailer? Anything else you want to share?
My debut novel, THE BELGRAVE DAUGHTER (1st in THE BELGRAVE LEGACY trilogy) came out November 14, 2013. And my friend just made a book trailer, too! [Congratulations, Zara! I am so thrilled for you!]
Interview at pandora's books
1. Describe your book in ten words or less. Go!
A dark angel is sent to seduce young witch.
2. The Belgrave Daughter has magic, prophecies, devils and dark angels. What made you gravitate towards those subjects?
I always liked the ideas of humans having powers, and struggled with the idea of fate and destiny, so the two combined and the Belgrave Daughter happened. :)
3. What authors inspired you to write?
JK Rowling and James Patterson
4. You're a writer and a student. How do you get everything done?
I do all my HW during my free periods at school and use the rest of my time to write.
5. What made you decide to self-publish? Do you think you’ll ever attempt traditional publishing?
I researched traditional publishing for two years, but decided I wanted to keep my creative executive power (editing, title, cover, etc)
6. As a self-published author, what is your editing process like?
Lots and LOTS of revisions. I went through The Belgrave Daughter 8 times!
7. Biggest writing quirk?
I do it with music playing or amidst a bunch of noise. I’m never as productive in silence as I am with background noise.
8. What are three must-have items when you sit down to write?
My phone, WiFi, charged laptop, and headphones.
9. What book are you currently reading?
Nothing at the moment. Junior year of high school has been a bit busy lately.
10. What advice do you have for other teenagers your age, who really want to write and get published?
Persevere and never stop writing, editing, and revising.
11. Are you working on anything new?
I’m currently writing the sequel to The Belgrave Daughter, called Tears of an Angel, then after I finish the trilogy with The Witch’s War, I plan on writing a fairytale retelling series called Fearful Fairytales. For more info on all my books, you can check out my website
Thank you Bradley Johnson for tagging me (please note that he has my OLD release date for The Belgrave Daughter. The new date is November 25, 2013).
What are you working on right now? Well, I'm currently finishing the sequel to The Belgrave Daughter called Tears of an Angel (coming 2014). I'll probably start the 3rd book in The Belgrave Legacy trilogy next week (for NaNoWriMo).
How makes your story special? Even though my story is a YA Fantasy Romance with supernatural beings, something that the mainstream market has saturated with Twilight and others, each character is well rounded (even the villains), and the main theme of the importance of family.
My CP Melissa Petreshock's blog ("The Dragon Blog") has posted my 6x3 (six questions, three answers per each) interview. You can read it there, or continue scrolling.
Her Introduction to Me: Today I'm thrilled to welcome my friend and beta reader, Zara Hoffman onto my blog for the 6x3. Zara's a talented young author releasing her first YA book, The Belgrave Daughter, next month, a book I'm looking forward to telling you more about during her blog tour visit here November 27th, and a book you should definitely add to your TBR list on Goodreads!
My dragons adore her and are quite happy to roar out a generous welcome to this lovely young lady, so let's get started and find out how 6x3=Zara Hoffman!
Aw, thanks, Melissa, for such a wonderful introduction! And now, I'll repost the actual interview.
1. The blurb summary for The Belgrave Daughter sounds interesting, yet at the same time, there’s been a host of angel/demon books coming out on the market recently. Tell us 3 elements to your book that make it stand out from the crowd, give it a unique twist readers will feel makes it compelling and well worth their time and money.
Yay! It's live! Those who remember my Exciting Stuff post will recall me mentioning doing an author interview on a one of my writer friend's blog and it went up today! Read it here.
I'll also paste it below:
Hi, Zara! Thanks for joining us today.
Thanks for having me. I got really excited when I saw your call for authors.
How does your real life interact/play a role in/interfere with your writing life?
Well, high school definitely takes up a lot of my time. Nightly homework and school papers tend to have me working around the clock, so it’s sometimes hard for me to write, but I still try and write at least 2,000 words a day, even if that means staying up to midnight (not good, I know, but what can I do?)
What genres have you written?
I have multiple WIPs right now, but I’m focusing on a fantasy romance. I also have a gritty Alice in Wonderland spinoff (not completely sure of the genre yet) and lastly, I’m writing a story about two best friends and their afterlives (probably more literary fiction, sort of coming of age, too).
A while ago I announced that I did an interview for Deborah Rocheleau's blog and the day has come when it's gone live on the internet! Why don't you check it out?
In the interview, I talk about my writing process. When the interview was conducted, I had just finished the 1st ACT of 7th Heaven. Yesterday (4/16/13) I finished the 1st DRAFT (YAY!).
All opinions featured on this blog are mine unless otherwise marked as a sponsored or guest post. All book links are affiliate links.
I'm a self-published author— because being a college student wasn't hard enough! I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love This Is Us, NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,